FredBGG wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:20 pm
Sorry to hear about another fatality. RIP.
Bouys is waves can be very dangerous. The body is bouncing around and can literally appear from no where and sink under the crest of a wave.
The other huge risk is that if you get tangled in a body the problem is that the buoy is anchored to the sea floor. If the kite is still catching wind or even worse a wave you can be pulled under in a fraction of a second. Underwater or against current it is very difficult to reach your release.
The real problem here is that when shit happens kiters are not ready for the problem.
The problem with the safety release is that it is not like the brakes of your car. In your car you use the brakes all the time just for regular driving.
When you need them in an emergency you are not going to have any problem finding the brake peddle.
With kiting you may go months without needing the safety release. Tis is why about 10 years ago I came up with the phrase "Safety Release Reflex".
Because we don't use the safety release on a regular basis it's important to train yourself to develop muscle memory for finding your safety release and tactile familiarity so you know you have actually grabbed the right thing.
Sure this may seem rather silly... like "I know where my safety release is", but the problem is that sure you know where to is IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT.
The problem is that there is no (or very very little) time to think.
What I do (and have been doing to years) is to reach down, get a grip and feel my safety release. Grab it from the top, grab it from the bottom feel it with warm hands and cold hands. I do this almost once every tack or sort of as a good luck and celebration ritual after a trick or a nice wave.
What this does is it develops muscle memory for finding the release when you need it quick. I even find that I have a hand on it before I even think about it.
I'll also do a safety release "fondle" when I cross paths with a busy on the water..... well just after I cross paths... just for good luck and reflex.
Safety Release Reflex. SRR is your friend. Also very important to develop the same Reflex for your secondary release. Your main release my not depower your kite if the depower line or lines are tangled.
Another issue is your line knife. Actually your three line knifes. I have one in my harness and one on each sleeve. You do not know what can get tangled and you my not have a free hand. You may also drop a knife and need a backup.
Also practice with the knife is really important. You don't wan't to be learning how to use the knife or how to pull it out when shit is happening.
I actually took the blade out of one of my knives to I could practice hooking it to lines as if I was trying to cut a line.
Also put a film of board wax (very soft) on the blade or blades of your line knife. This will keep the line from dulling over time. Use a very thin film of
soft wax. When you use the knife the wax won't impede the cutting ability. While stainless steel blades do not rust metallic minerals do deposit on metal and dull the blade.
Remember your line knife is going to be far less useful if you have not practiced using it. Remember you are most likely going to have a mouth full of water, be upside down and getting the mother of all weggies from your harness when you need to start cutting lines. You need to be damn good at it when the time comes.
Be safe and above all be ready. The better you are at kiting the more important it is fro you to practice because your going to go months or years without having to use either your release or your knife.